Many filmmakers explore the themes of doubling and voyeurism, but few have done it as consistently or successfully as Brian De Palma. One of the handful (or two handfuls!) of masterpieces in his filmography, Body Double (1984) perfectly illustrates De Palma’s (and D.P. Steven H. Burum’s) visual interrogation of these elements while also implicating us, the audience, in the film’s prevailing acts of voyeurism. After all, as Jake (Craig Wasson) says to Holly Body (Melanie Griffith), “I like to watch,” and so do we.
It’s also worth noting that after two consecutive posts on Scarface, this marks three in a row for De Palma films. Strictly coincidental, but I like it. He’s one of my favorites, and his films never fail to entertain and challenge audiences. And as visual stylists go, he’s tough to beat. He certainly knew how to frame Body Double‘s doubled bodies – belonging to Melanie Griffith and Deborah Shelton – with plenty of style to spare.